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Is Biden Set to Mandate Electric Trains?

The EV mandate disaster was set in motion back in the Obama Administration when he granted California a waiver to set its own fuel economy standards.

California is now set to repeat the same play for rail, with a waiver application into the Biden administration that will let California set its own emission standards for locomotives that are designed to force electric locomotives to replace diesel.

Per the Washington Examiner:

Under California’s proposed rule, starting in 2030, no train older than 23 years may operate in the state. (Locomotives usually last 40 years.) Starting in 2030, half of all trains must be ”zero-emission” entirely, and by 2035, all trains must be.

Transitioning from diesel-powered trains to electric trains will be prohibitively expensive, which is why starting in 2026, California will require all train companies in the state to set aside almost a billion dollars each to fund an eventual transition to a battery-powered fleet…

The damage from California’s freight rail regulation would be immediate and devastating. First, trains do not switch when crossing state borders, so train fleets would be forced to update their entire fleet to make sure they complied with the ban on engines older than 23 years now.

Second, since almost all freight train companies operate in California, they would all be forced to start contributing almost a billion dollars a year to the mandatory transition fund. Since 40% of all long-haul freight traffic is delivered by train, this would mean immediate price increases for almost all consumers. Finally, since an operative commercially available prototype does not exist, every train company would face regulatory uncertainty as the 2030 and 2035 fleet mandates kicked in.

We’re all for federalism and letting states do pretty much whatever they want. But there is an interstate commerce clause in the Constitution and this California law clearly interferes with the free flow of interstate commerce.

This is interstate commerce…

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